Roadtest: Top Hot Chocs

Where to get the best Inner West hot chocolates this winter...

It’s official: winter has well and truly hit the Inner West – there’s an icy bite in the air and not everyone is happy about it.

But there is one good thing about the cold weather, it’s the perfect time to warm up by a blazing fire (or more realistically, a small heater) and enjoy an indulgent cup of hot chocolate, of which there are many variations across the inner western suburbs. While many people enjoy making their own version at home using their personal choice of chocolate (one Ciao reader suggested Orange Grove Markets as the place to find quality South American chocolate with high cocoa content), if you’re going to ditch your snuggie and actually go out for a cuppa, here are few local faves…

Italian hot chocolate

This brilliant concoction is the thickest of them all and more like a custard in consistency and taste – dip your spoon in the cup and the chocolate will stick to it. Order it as a dessert to finish off a meal or just to treat yourself, it’s a decadent experience. If you’re in Norton Street, Caffe Moretti’s makes a mean cup of Italian hot chocolate, otherwise try the one from the local chocolate expert himself, Rino Saffioti in Haberfield. Full marks for taste and texture. 5/5

Organic hot chocolate

This tastes a lot like regular hot chocolate but has a little more fluffiness to it as it’s foamy all the way through. It’s also not a sweet as your average hot chocolate but still hits the spot. Served warm and ready to drink at About Life natural marketplace in Rozelle, it’s nice to know they use organic milk, as well as organic chocolate. It was also the cheapest at $2.70 for a regular size. Great value. 3/5

Hot chocolate with marshmallows

Piccolo’s Cafe in Rozelle was the only place I road tested that serves their hot chocolate with two fluffy marshmallows floating on top. At $3.30 for a regular size cup, I’d say it’s well worth it. In my book, it should be compulsory to have marshmallows with your hot chocolate so thank the lord Buddha that someone is still carrying on this tradition! The thick layer of froth and sweet chocolate milk underneath were delicious too. Definite brownie points for the marshmallows. 4/5

Hot chocolate with Nutella

When we asked where our Inner West readers go for their hot chocolates, Trovatino Cafe in Wareemba was one of the first places they mentioned. For $5 you can get a ‘Nutella hot chocolate’ off the specials menu – it’s made just like a regular hot chocolate but with a big dollop of Nutella spooned into the bottom of the glass. All of the Nutella melts into the hot chocolate, giving it a distinctly nutty flavour that’s to die for. And if you’re lucky, there will be some residue Nutella to spoon off the bottom of the glass when you get to the end. A must try for chocolate lovers even though it’s a little more pricey than the rest. 4.5/5

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